spent about 2 hours at the Bubali Bird Sanctuary on Aruba last
Wednesday, 6/23/2006, at about 2-4PM, between the low and high-rise
hotel districts, across from the "Windmill" shopping
area. I photographed some large white birds, possibly Egrets
or Ibis's, a red-billed duck-like bird with a black body that
swam with the ducks on the lake area, a family of ducks (very
cute with about 10 chicks trailing the hen across the lake's
water hyacinth plants), and what I thought to be a Kingfisher.
just before we were leaving, I noticed a pair of small parrots/parakeets
preening and grooming themselves above where our car was parked,
in a tall tree (don't know what type of tree it was). They were
hard to photograph because they were up in the high branches
of the tree. But I got my Sigma 75-300mm telephoto lens out
and put it on my Pentax *ist DS DSLR camera and started shooting.
I thought you may be interested in the story of this pair, the
pair we saw at the Sanctuary, and then, only by chance. They
didn't make any noises, and it was by pure luck that I noticed
them in the tree, right when we were getting ready to leave.
whole experiences of photographing the Brown-throated Parakeets
was a big surprise, from beginning to end. First off, we almost
didn't see them...it was just by chance that I glanced up into
the large tree shading our car at the Sanctuary and saw them.
there was the actual photos themselves. I quickly switched lenses
to the Sigma 75-300mm telephoto, and didn't even change my camera
settings as I thought they might fly off any time. So the DSLR
was in full automatic mode, and I was shooting through a lot
of foliage to boot...I honestly didn't know
the results would be. But thank the Gods for RAW digital pictures...it
was a big surprise to blow up the images in Photoshop and see
the two parakeets up close, and personal!
appears that the pair "knew" I was photographing them,
as they were looking right down at me in every shot I took.
I actually have about 25 pictures of them, but the three I sent
you are the best ones. As an aside to the experience at the
Sanctuary, we met a couple from the USA at the airport while
standing in line for Customs the morning of our departure who
said they went to the Sanctuary and "didn't see anything."
I asked the gentleman how long did they stay there, and he replied,
"Oh, about 15 minutes.(!)" I'm not an expert birder
by any means, but at least I had the sense to go there, be still,
and wait for the various birds to appear.
did they appear! Out of the reeds surrounding the lake came
duck after duck, and a bevy of those black duck-like birds with
the red bills. Then there were the larger birds, Herons, Ibis,
and the Kingfisher. The place was full of life. If we hadn't
missed our lunch we would have stayed there longer, but as it
was we had a rewarding 2 hours.
even had several large lizards appear out of nowhere, who became
my subjects, just because we were quiet, and still, and patient.
I guess that's the secret to successful birding: if you can't
take the time to let things happen, there's no reason to even
Common Moorhen, Bubali, Aruba, June 2006.
by David Campbell.